How Much Salt Does a Water Softener Use?

Water softeners require a certain amount of maintenance. This ensures they operate smoothly.

One aspect of this is the amount of salt you put in your water softener tank.

That’s why we’ve assembled all the necessary details in one guide for you!

We’ll tell you why your water softener requires salt in the first place, what it uses it for and how much you should add!

Table salt and salt crystals in a water purifier

How Much Water Softener Salt Should You Put in A Brine Tank?

For ion-exchange water softeners, the brine tank is necessary. The brine tank consists of brine or salt solution.

The brine tank needs a specific amount of salt. You could overfill or underfill it with the incorrect amount of salt.

To ensure that your water softener works at optimum capacity and is highly efficient, you need to fill it with the appropriate amount of salt.

According to our recommendations, keep your water softener full with at least 1 quarter of brine solution.

While you’re filling it up to at least 1 quarter, make sure it isn’t more than four to six inches below the top of your brine tank. This is recommended for optimum efficiency.

To determine the correct amount of salt is to make sure that your salt level should be a couple of inches above your water level.

Tips To Add Water Softener Salt

We’re here to guide you on how and how much salt you should use. And picking up on a few tips while you do so is always helpful.

The first tip would be to use the proper salt for water softeners. It would be unwise to use ordinary table salt since it has small granules. These would dissolve quickly.

Table salt contains impurities that would be damaging to your water softener. Proper water softener salt includes sodium chloride and potassium chloride.

Another problem created in your brine tank can be due to salt bridges and salt mushes. Salt bridges are formed when hard crusts are created on the edges of the salt tank. These bridges prevent the brine from being dissolved in the water. Thus, prohibiting the unit’s efficiency.

Before you add more salt, you can check for salt bridges and remove them using the back of a broomstick or by pouring hot water over them.

Like a salt bridge, large salt crusts can also form on the side of a brine tank. If you spot any, you should push them off or loosen them so they fall at the bottom of the tank.

Lastly, before you add in fresh salt, check for any previous salt that could be dissolved, but has clumped together. You can use a broomstick handle or hot water to break those pieces free.

How Much Salt Will Your Water Softener Consume?

The amount of salt you need and when you need it is reliant on a few factors. These will determine how often you’ll need salt and how much.

Brine Tank Size

If you have a large brine tank, it’s a given you’ll have to use a larger amount of salt as well. If you have a medium-sized tank, your salt usage will also be medium.

This is also affected by how much water you’re using. If your tank has a large capacity, while having a large water intake as well, you’ll need double the usual amount.

Number Of People Using the Water

Every house has a differing amount of people living in it, therefore differences in soft water that is used.

A large family will consume more gallons per day compared to a small family. A large family will therefore consume more salt per day.

Water Hardness

The level of water hardness depends on the area you’re living in.

The number of hard minerals present in your water supply will determine how much salt you need to soften it.

The larger the number of hard minerals, the more salt will be consumed because double the amount of resin beads will be regenerated.

Before you start to use your water softener, it’s wise to measure the level of water hardness!

Table salt on a hand's palm and water softener cartridge

Where Do I Buy Water Softener Salt?

This depends on the type and brand of salt you’re using.

You can get individual salt packs for your water softener from individual retailers such as Diamond Crystal Salt, as well as other retailing websites like Amazon, HomeDepot, etc.

Why Do Water Softeners Use Salt?

Water softeners remove hard minerals like calcium and magnesium to eliminate the hardness of the water.

Your unit contains a water softener tank which includes resin beads as well as a brine tank. These resin beads are negatively charged. They attract the positively charged hard minerals when hard water washes through them.

This ion-exchange process then traps hard water minerals on the resin bed to give soft water. With time, the resin’s beads’ capacity for attraction will diminish and will need to be cleaned.

The brine tank is responsible for cleaning the resin bed through a regeneration cycle. Through this, salty water is passed through the resin bed so the attached minerals are rinsed out.

The rinsed water is then washed out, and the cycle begins again!


Now that you’ve gone through this guide, try out these tips and tricks to work your water softener smoothly and efficiently.